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Man Eats Pet Goldfish Live: Is He Guilty of Animal Cruelty?

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While acknowledging that Cole’s videos are certainly provocative, Thring argues that the RPSCA (the U.K.’s eighth-richest charity) “got Louis Cole wrong” in taking such legal action against him. From watching Cole’s videos and speaking to him a number of times, Thring says that he has “never seen any evidence that he wished to inflict cruelty on any animal”; he points out that “if you accept that it’s moral to eat another creature, then killing it is a necessary part of that process.” If Cole is accused of animal cruelty, should not anyone who eats animals?

What Do You Think About Cole’s “Antics”?

I do think Cole, whatever his original intentions with his Food for Louis videos, is raising some issues of pressing ethical importance. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life and one reason I spurned eating meat was after learning about how livestock and other animals are treated and killed. But while Cole may not intend to inflict cruelty on the tarantulas, leeches and other animals he eats live, who can say they do not experience extreme terror to find themselves being broken, torn apart and who knows what else by his teeth? How dead were they when they went down his esophagus?

Cole’s “antics” in his videos are certainly sensationalistic. If he had just gone about eating spiders and such to answer his friends’ dares but not made all this public (and to the vast audience one can find online), it is arguable that he would never have been served with legal charges by the RPSCA. Surely Cole must have known — as, it can be said, did the artist Andres Serrano with his “Piss Christ” piece (in which a crucifix was placed in a vessel of his own urine) — that his videos are provocative?

Fame and infamy go hand in hand, one can say.

Is Cole guilty of animal cruelty simply by committing the acts he has in his videos? Was he “asking for it” by posting them? Now that he has made his point about the ethical issues of killing and eating animals, should he stop publicizing his “antics” and just stop them, period?

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235 comments

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1:25AM PDT on Sep 5, 2013

So glad he got in trouble. I just found his channel early this morning, and was outraged. I reported his videos too. I found this site seeing if he got in trouble!

9:12AM PDT on May 28, 2013

disgusting!

5:35PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

I think that this character who is doing this,is only caring on with it because of the popularity that he gets from his videos,and I read that he was making a living of of this that is not wright by itself,and if not for that he most likely would not be doing it,to all the people watching this you need to get a life worth living,be for you die of boredom.

8:54AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

I assume that all of you that have made negative comments eat NO meat. If you do eat any meat, you are hypocrites. If you do eat no meat, good for you. But, don't force your moral judgement onto someone that doesn't share your belief. Explain your position. If it is accepted, great. If not, don't get hostile about it.

12:41PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:01AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

thanks for sharing.

11:02AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

A agree with Rob L's. "What a colossal asshole".!

3:25PM PST on Jan 21, 2013

What a colossal asshole. The ignorance of people who think human problems will be taken care of without attending to animals is astounding. I agree with Pythagoras when he said until people stop ruthlessly killing animals they will always kill each other. I have always thought that and it seems to me people who think putting ten mice in a blender and drinking it would change the world have not thought very deeply, if at all.

7:14AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

thanks for sharing

4:39AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Savage!

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